8 Best Supplements to Start Taking After Menopause, According to Experts


The end of your menstrual cycle is probably the simplest thing about the complex process that is menopause, which happens in three stages: perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause.

Perimenopause "describes a time when hormones start to decline and menstrual cycles become erratic and irregular," explains the Cleveland Clinic. Menopause itself occurs when your menstrual period has stopped for 12 consecutive months, and postmenopause—the time after menopause—lasts for the rest of your life, says the site.

Menopause symptoms can manifest early on, from the more commonly known hot flashes and vaginal dryness to unexpected signs such as bad breath and sleep problems. As if that weren't enough, the body changes once menopause is finished and postmenopause begins.

While various approaches can help ease menopause symptoms, supplements are a popular choice. Read on for eight that are recommended by experts, and which may improve your quality of life during this transition.

READ THIS NEXT: If You Wake Up Often at Night, You Could Be Lacking This Nutrient.

St. John's wort

You may have heard that St. John's wort can be used to treat anxiety and depression—which also happen to be two potential symptoms of perimenopause and menopause. But according to Daniel Powers, MS, the founder of The Botanical Institute, the popular supplement can also ease hot flashes, improve sleep, and help ease fatigue.


Although it may not be as immediately obvious as a hot flash, "Bone loss can become a serious problem once hormone levels drop after menopause," warns WebMD. While the site notes that food is the best source of calcium, supplements can help you meet your body's needs, as well. "Take smaller doses with food during the day, no more than 500mg at a time," WebMD advises.

"Women under 51 need 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day [and] women 51 and older need 1,200 milligrams a day," the site says, noting that if you're taking supplements, "take smaller doses with food, no more than 500mg at a time."

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is important "for calcium absorption and bone formation," advises Johns Hopkins Medicine, noting that the supplement "can greatly cut your risk of spinal fractures." However, the site warns that excessive calcium or vitamin D can result in "kidney stones, constipation, or abdominal pain, especially if you have kidney problems."

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Flaxseed is best taken in ground form, rather than in a capsule, Pelin Batur, MD, tells the Cleveland Clinic. While research hasn't definitively proven that ground flaxseeds can help ease hot flashes, they "contain omega-3s and lignans, which may decrease your risk of breast cancer and lower your cholesterol," Batur says. "This makes them a healthy addition to your diet, even if they don't bring relief from hot flashes."

Batur also offers up these words of caution: "Flax does contain phytoestrogens, which are substances that can have estrogen-like effects on body tissues and cells. So check with your doctor if you're being treated for uterine or breast cancer."

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Gut health is always important to your overall wellness, but even if you've always had a robust gastrointestinal system, menopause can throw it out of whack due to changes in hormones. "This imbalance not only prevents your body from properly absorbing supplements, but can also lead to symptoms like gas and bloating, constipation, digestive issues, and belly fat," according to Prevention. "Probiotics will help improve bowel function, stabilize your hormones, and assist with weight loss," clinical nutritionist Jacqui Justice told the site.

Black Cohosh

Black cohosh is an herb that's part of the buttercup family."Its effectiveness in managing menopausal symptoms is still being researched, but some studies have shown promising results," Powers says, noting that some potential benefits include decreased hot flashes, reduced depression, and improved sleep.


Ground ginseng root is "readily available in most drugstores, some supermarkets, and online" and can be taken as a capsule or tea, according to Healthline. "Ginseng has been used as a sedative in Asian countries for centuries," says the site. "While there's no evidence that ginseng can treat hot flashes, the soothing effects of ginseng improve the quality and duration of your sleep."

However, in an article published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, researchers reported on a study which found that "ginseng can significantly reduce hot flashes, menopausal symptoms, and quality of life in menopausal women."

Valerian root

There are myriad ways to treat sleep issues like insomnia. When it comes to using supplements, you've probably heard of valerian root; it is "one of the most widely used herbal supplements on the planet," according to Everyday Health.

In addition for being widely known as a way to address sleep problems, valerian root has also been shown to potentially help with hot flashes, the site says.

Best Life offers the most up-to-date information from top experts, new research, and health agencies, but our content is not meant to be a substitute for professional guidance. When it comes to the medication you're taking or any other health questions you have, always consult your healthcare provider directly.